Digital Practice

Our Digital Practice team consists of architects, engineers, UX designers, and software developers engaging with technology that delivers more sustainable and efficient buildings.

Together, they work towards being a nimble team focusing on impacting the architecture and construction industry. They strongly believe in the democratisation of digital tools, which puts the user experience and interface design at the centre of what they do.

Embracing the ongoing technological advancements and working towards the adaptation of the right tools to support our design process is the team’s main driving force.

We believe that the ongoing technological shift within the construction industry can profoundly change the way that we build our cities. Therefore, we continuously invest in accelerating the development of our digital services through the established and integrated R&D unit – Digital Practice.

By utilising computational analytics and generative modeling, the team supports our design practice by extracting actionable insights and developing innovative data-driven solutions for our clients, helping them to make smarter decisions and improve asset performance.

Computational Design

While the traditional design process relies on the designer's experience and intuition, computational design techniques allow us to incorporate project-specific data, analytic tools, and computing power to inform the design and decision-making processes.

ln any building, we can understand how multiple systems correlate with each other and the environment, creating more options and better efficiencies for our clients. Our ability to process large amounts of information helps us work with clients to make smarter decisions faster.

Software Development

Our Digital Practise team develops software using modern technology stacks and processes. The team believes that web and cloud are the platforms we should build on top since our goal is to enable seamless collaboration. The team writes code to augment the design capabilities of widely adopted design software like Rhino and Revit to tailor our design teams and client needs. Given the complexity of construction projects, the team often integrates our internal platform to externals through API’s and network.

UX/UI (User Experience)

SHL is a proud architectural design pioneer in implementing user experience and interface (UX/UI) principles into its design processes and digitalisation strategy. By involving users and iterating based on their feedback, we ensure our products are intuitive, efficient, and enhances the experience of working.

This process involves working with agile methodologies, where we deliver quickly and regularly to our users, while investing the time to listen and use feedback to drive innovation.

Our team of UX designers work with digital and physical prototypes as well as design thinking workshops to capture the most crucial pain points in our design operations. The Digital Practice team transforms those into opportunities for SHL to reinvent itself and excel in the business.

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Technology that Brings us Together

We believe in democratic technology. The change we want to see in the architecture and construction industry will only happen if everyone joins forces across professional backgrounds. The world we live in allows us to be connected and collaborate through many spaces - digital or physical. We aim to establish a presence in both realms and invest in technologies that enable us to reach this goal, all while upholding our moral and ethical values.

Human Comfort and Sustainability Awareness

Our digital tools embed the spirit and ambitions of SHL toward designing future-proof buildings. We use sustainability key performance indicators across our stack of products to make sure we are making the world a better place, even in small scales. Through this holistic approach, the Digital Practise team strives to create spaces that prioritise sustainability and human well-being.

Environmental Analysis

Our designers have the computing horsepower to perform real-time simulations right from their laptops. By creating photo-realistic renderings and simulations of real-world conditions, such as daylight, temperature, and wind speed, our designers can test how well a design idea achieves various project goals. Environmental simulations are useful for evaluating how someone will experience a completed space, but tracking construction metrics such as project cost and embedded energy can ensure the project makes the journey from idea to reality—on time and on budget.

Spatial Intelligence

A critical skill for architects, engineers, and developers is to understand the complex relationships between their organisations and the spaces they occupy. Our Digital Practise team injects spatial intelligence into our projects utilising business intelligence platforms, such as Power BI, they can translate this understanding into quantifiable data models, improving efficiency during the design phase of complex building programs. Enhanced data visualisation also supports better decision-making and resource allocation, leading to more sustainable and efficient designs and improved project outcomes.

The Mission

Ultimately, the Digital Practise team aims at bringing value and impact to architectural design. Their mission is to drive digital innovation within SHL, throughout the Perkins&Will network of studios, and the industry as a whole. By embracing technology, user-centric design, data integration, and computational thinking, the solutions the team designs can have an impact from America to Asia. By doing so, we strive to deliver exceptional design technology that exceeds expectations, inspires creativity, and shapes a sustainable and remarkable built environment for generations to come.

Meet our Digital Practice Team

The Digital Practice team is comprised by a group of people from different continents and with different educational backgrounds. They all share a passion for design and technology and have all taken the initiative to change the way we design and help others. The team will continue to explore how to apply technology to complex problems involving people, behaviours, and the built environment.

You will most likely find them during the annual Copenhagen AEC Hackthon working side by side with partners from other companies within the industry to drive change and create impact by hacking problems together.

Part of a Larger Team

The Digital Practise team is part of the technology group from within Perkins&Will and with more than 20 design studios. This allows for the team to grasp a good understanding of our current practice and the opportunities that lie on this large resource.

Living Design

Our philosophy is to take sustainability as a creative challenge to be explored with curiosity and focus. It is a measure of our skill and ability to improve the social and environmental ecosystems touched by our work. Tailored, collective goals are embedded in our design and delivery process. We have developed a method of capturing a clear vision at the earliest stages of the project brief and translating this vision into implementable steps that ensure the vision remains resilient throughout the design and building stages. From pre-design to the post-occupancy phases, we have aligned our work practice to focus on well-being, ecology, and resilience – a more holistic concept of sustainability that we term ‘Living Design’.

Holistic & Contextual

Operating internationally across diverse scales and contexts, our office has tailored a holistic sustainability process to each project’s unique circumstances and local nuances. This customised approach generates a clear roadmap and synthesis with design goals beyond a simple checklist of sustainability measures.

An Inclusive Roadmap

Our unique and comprehensive strategy considers urban environmental impact, social behaviours, local biology, circularity, and future adaptability. These elements drive our design experimentation from the project’s inception, and they are continually assessed throughout the project life cycle, including design, delivery, occupancy, and post-occupancy stages.

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Alignment & Trust

The most critical choices are often made during or before the conceptual design stage. We’ve found that early integration of sustainability objectives reduces implementation costs and maximises impact. We focus on gathering collective intelligence with the greatest impact at each stage of the design process in collaboration with partner consultants and stakeholders. We recognise that stakeholders from different backgrounds have different frameworks for defining success and have developed our suite of methods to simplify complexity and enhance mutual understanding.

We’re dedicated to democratising knowledge throughout our entire company rather than confining it to expert teams. This focus on shared learning aligns with our commitment to a more streamlined process that distributes expertise and removes bottlenecks.

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Navigating Complexity & Responsibility: ESGs and Certifications

For every project, we define the necessary processes, budget, and expertise at inception to ensure comprehensive documentation for certification. Our in-house software offers real-time progress tracking against a comprehensive set of certifications and ESG goals, mapping proposals against criteria throughout the design and delivery process. We’ve honed our ability to align multiple certifications simultaneously and refined our working method accordingly.

Core elements of our work include circular systems, adaptive transformation, and urban social value. We leverage evidence-based approaches and digital scenario modelling to make informed design decisions, considering thermal, daylight, acoustic, wind, comfort, pedestrian movement, and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) factors. In collaboration with clients and consultants, our commitment extends beyond energy performance to embrace holistic sustainability factors, ensuring the project’s relevance for future generations.

our approach to design

We believe design should be an act of generosity. Our profession asks us to face the complexity of the world with stubborn optimism and empowers others through our work. Approaching each project with curiosity, we embrace new ideas throughout the design process, while also leaving space for new ones to unfold in the finished result. Driven by a deep responsibility towards our planet, we strive for an architecture that transforms our understanding of the world by giving back to the environment, to communities, and to individuals.

We design places of cultural resonance. We embed ourselves in each context to understand the intangible. Regardless of their place in the world, our projects live and breathe effortlessly in their context, making their inhabitants feel truly at home.

We find joy and inspiration in collaborating with stakeholders. Through hands-on participation and debate, we translate values into a vision and distinct identity for each project. Design is a social, collaborative process, and the most impactful solutions come from synthesising collective intelligence towards shared vision and goals.

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Our creative process is analytical and collaborative. Our attitude is open, proactive and democratic. Our work evolves with the world it occupies by questioning the way we live, work and coexist, expanding our toolset through iteration. We find the synergy in complexity.

Our architecture is motivated by artistry and discipline. We strive to deliver more meaning by using less. Passionately seeking the inherent poetry in each project, we pursue a timeless expression that elevates the existing and improves user experience.

We see ourselves as part of a larger system - an ecology - where everything is connected. Something that goes well beyond the physical manifestation of spaces, buildings, and cities. Therefore, we have a professional obligation to formulate the changes we wish to see daily. We do that by creating ideas and places that advocate for change, facilitate connections, and inspire transformation.

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